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Feuds Favors cover

Feuds and Favors

Designer: Brad Hiscock
Artist: Pedro Zalba

Publisher: Convivial Games
Year Kickstarted: 2022
No. of players: 2-4
Ages: 10 +
Playing Time: 30-60 min

Main mechanic / Theme: Hand Management, Player Elimination, Take That / Medieval

Prove your valor on the battlefield and claim your rightful title!

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com or Kickstarter

 *Kickstarter campaign cancelled 04-14-2022. Planned relaunch in 6 months.

Disclaimer: Publisher provided a copy of the game for this review.


Overview:

Feuds and favors is a game about having an army, clashing with other armies to become the best army in all the land. While it has some interesting mechanics, it ultimately fails to deliver.

 

Gameplay and mechanics:

Each player has a starting army deck of standard units that make up the main army of the player. New units can be obtained from the ‘recruit deck’ which contains more powerful units in addition to ones already in the starting army deck. Units have a type, power, and ‘clan’ which can give bonuses to combat depending on the layout of your ‘vanguard.’ In addition players can get “Noble’ cards which can affect battles in certain ways. Players win the game by collecting a certain number of Trophy cards through victorious battles. In addition to Trophies, players can win Favors, which can be exchanged for Nobility cards and other things.

 

Theme, Artwork and Illustration, Graphic Design and Layout:

The word that comes to mind for me when I see Feuds and Favors artwork is ‘busy.’ It has a realistic aesthetic, which I appreciate, but fails to stand out. The title on the box is in a color that doesn’t stand out from the rest of the color palette on the box, making it difficult to read. The cards themselves are fully functional and pleasant. Though I would like to see the numbers of the units and the kin symbol on the same side of the card, for ease of reading while in a hand. 

 

Inclusivity and Accessibility:

Having a background of medieval reenactment, the art style of the cards is a nice change of pace from standard fantasy armor you see so much of (Warcraft ruined fantasy design, but I digress). Gambesons, kettle helms, and surcoats are to be found in spades, reminiscent of Western Europe but not specific enough to imitate a specific country. Reigning in my desires to nerd out about the mechanics of medieval combat was not easy, but this is not a simulation game and that’s perfectly fine.

 

What worked:

The basic battle mechanics of the game are functional, uncomplicated, and easy to grasp on a playthrough. The Noble cards add some variety to gameplay, so that a good Vanguard set up does not always guarantee victory. Combat bonuses are handy for maximizing a weak starting hand. 

 

Final thoughts:

Ultimately this game left me a little cold. The basic mechanic is fun enough, but the recruit system is very wonky. If opponents get lucky draws from the Recruit Deck to make a decent army, it can be very difficult to counter without the right Noble Cards. While there is some flexibility in play style, it isn’t tactical enough to be really engaging, and a bad round of draws can be especially crippling. It has promise but ultimately feels chained down by some mechanics. Possible fixes might be drawing a recruit card every turn, or being able to buy more with Favor tokens.

 

Reviewer: Justice Dent